Monday, September 12, 2016

Southern Illinois—perfect for a long weekend

Paul and Janice and Dan and I took off for a short road trip over Labor Day weekend.  They have not visited Southern Illinois and we jumped at the chance to return there for a little bicycling, hiking and wine—not necessarily in that order.  The plan came together.

Southern Illinois is well within the “circle.”  I think I’ve mentioned the circle before but just as a refresher, we take a compass and place the point on home and the pencil on Denver Colorado—a known 500 mile, eight hour drive.  In other words, an easy one day drive.  All of southern Illinois falls easily inside the circle. 

At the last minute, we found out a first cousin of Dan and Paul’s died unexpectedly and the family  planned the visitation for her memorial service for Friday night—in Huntingburg, Indiana, which was only about 1 1/2 hour further east of our Shawnee National Forest destination.  We were thankful we happened to be nearby for the sad but enjoyable visit with family that we don’t see often.  

The campground was at the Shawnee National Forest Garden of the Gods which is located on the eastern side of the southern Illinois area.    It was dark when we arrived and my fears were realized when all of the spots in the “no reservation” campground were occupied—not even a place to squeeze in.   Well, not to let a small inconvenience discourage us, we pulled into a picnic area that said

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Well, it was earlier than 10 pm.    So we pulled out four chairs and bowls of hot, chicken soup for supper then slid into bed.  The next morning we were up after 6 am.  So, I guess we slept through the time when the area was closed.  What could we say?  Thankfully, no one asked.

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We took our time cooking breakfast on one of the picnic tables—delicious scrambled eggs in a bag.  All you do is break eggs in a good quality quart bag, add green peppers, onions, mushrooms, salt & pepper.  Then boil the bag till done.  They were so good, we were going to have them again—then I got side tracked with my  outdoor oven.  More on that later.

Next, yes, there is a Garden of the Gods in Illinois AND Colorado.

1 comment:

paullamb said...

I'm eager to hear about the G of the Gs in Illinois.